“Desperate Housewives,” from that “Melrose Place”-“Sunset Beach”-“Titans” writer-producer, better than “Lost,” from “Alias” mastermind J.J. Abrams? Huh!
A first-time poster opines:
Desperate Housewives has the potential to either be a great series or become a cheesy late night soap and I am hoping it will become the first. I was skeptical of a series that was done by the same people as Melrose Place, but within the first few minutes I already knew this show was something completely different. If they are smart they will not continue to advertise the show with a connection to Melrose Place because it is only going to hurt the show. The pilot reminds me of a mix between something in the vein of American Beauty and Twin Peaks minus the midgets, giants and other oddities. The pilot begins with Sheryl Lee killing herself (again, Sheryl is dead in the first episode just like Twin Peaks), she narrates the rest of the episode which follows the other "Housewives" around the town during her funeral and the week or so afterwards. The wives are stereotypical; one is a single mother, one married for money and cheating with the gardener, another wants to be Donna Reed and thinks she has the perfect marriage and one had a high profile job and quit to have a never ending stream of kids (which she seems to regret). At face value I would have blown this show off and never given it the chance, but it truly is the gem of ABC's fall lineup. One would think a show surrounding a funeral would be quite morose, but the cast and writers bring an air of quirkiness that I haven't seen in a long time. Not quirky enough to be the next Wonderfalls, but just enough to bring this show to the forefront of the ABC Fall lineup. In one sequence the rich husband notices that the lawn isn't being mowed well (because the gardener was busy sleeping with the wife) and threatens to fire the gardener. At a party that night, the wife pays the bartender to 'always keep a drink in his hand' and she sneaks away to mow the lawn, sans evening dress and all to make sure the gardener can keep his job and keep her happy on the dining room table. Anyway, the first episode ends on what I hope is going to be one of those season long unfolding mysteries; the other wives, while packing up Sheryl Lee's stuff, discover a letter postmarked the day she died saying that someone 'knows what she did' (if I remember correctly it said something to that effect, it has been a few weeks). Also, in another weird twist Sheryl Lee's husband is digging up their pool for the lost family secret, which the audience has no clue about. It looks like a lot of "small town" mysteries will unfold this season. Out of all the ABC pilots, this is the one I recommend most.
Lost was the one pilot I had really been looking forward to since it was a JJ Abrams show, but as I said before it is extremely disappointing. It looks more like a bad TV movie version of the Jurassic Park series, only you don't know if there are dinosaurs. It begins with Matt Fox waking up from the plane crash and rescuing some people. There is a ridiculous scene where Fox begins to see a piece of the plane fall and underneath is what looks like Harry from AICN and a pregnant lady, but, BUT the catch is he is currently giving a woman CPR when he sees it start to fall. Instead of yelling over "Hey get out of the way," he somehow manages to revive the woman and then run over to Harry and the Pregnant Lady and still save both right before the plane piece falls. Next we have Greg Grunberg's cameo, because what is a JJ Abrams piece without him? He gets eaten by some unseen force and then we see the group hop from the plane and run from this thing. They make it back without any deaths and the next group goes into jungle to try and radio for help from high ground. This group comes across a loud noise and you see something moving through the jungle charging right at them (this is seen in the previews), one of the guys pulls out a gun and shoots at the target. The thing falls over right before it reaches the group and it is revealed the animal was a polar bear. Yes a polar bear in the middle of the jungle. A polar bear! Huh? What? At this point I was ready to give up but made it through the rest. Maybe it will get better, but I don't see that happening. Such a shame too.
Life As We Know It I would give a second chance, but the pilot was definitely not anything to write home about. The one thing I was pleased with was the cast they used (minus Kelly Osbourne). First off, in the very first episode there is already one of the three kids hooking up with a teacher, another hooking up with Kelly Osbourne and realizing that "it's okay to be with a fat girl" (not a direct quote), and one of the boys seeing his mom having an affair. There is a lot going on in this pilot, almost too much. They packed a season's worth of storylines in the pilot and I think that means this series is going to start full force, but die out just as fast. The storyline is intermingled with stop motion and the boys talk directly to the camera to express their thoughts. As far as high school dramas go, this is no Freaks and Geeks or My So-Called Life. As far as age, I am a bad judge of age and I don't remember hearing what grade, but I would assume somewhere between sophomores or juniors (16) in high school.
Unless Lost does a complete turnaround and becomes an awesome show, Life As We Know It, Alias and Desperate Housewives will be all the ABC shows I will be watching next season.
“Desperate Housewives” will air 9 p.m. Sundays on ABC.
“Lost” will air 8 p.m. Wednesdays on ABC.
“Life As We Know it” will air 9 p.m. Thursday on ABC.
For more positive reviews of the “Lost” pilot, click here.
For the coming shows to which Herc is most looking forward, click here.
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